7 Best Online Physical Therapy Aide Programs (Complete Guide)

If you’re passionate about helping others regain their mobility and well-being and supporting licensed Physical Therapists in providing care for patients after an accident or other life-changing event – becoming a Physical Therapy Aide may be the right career for you!

Today’s Physical Therapy Aides make a difference in the lives of others by supporting medical staff and patients seeking physical therapy treatment in America’s healthcare facilities.

Most states and medical facilities require incoming Physical Therapy Assistants to complete a PT certificate or earn an associate’s degree in a related discipline to enter the field quickly.

This guide outlines some of the best PTA programs for prospective aides seeking routes to online education.

Learn about top programs and what they offer, and find contact information for hybrid and online PTA programs in the guide below.

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What Do Physical Therapy Aides Do?

US-based Physical Therapy Aides provide hands-on support for licensed Physical Therapists working in hospitals, doctor’s offices, and medical clinics.

These well-trained allied health professionals work under the direction of licensed supervisors and PTs to offer indirect care for patients.

Physical Therapy Aide Job Duties

The job duties of today’s Physical Therapy Assistant require a variety of front-office skills, back-office skills, and supervised patient care activities.

Following are examples of everyday job duties they carry out in support of patients under the watchful supervision of licensed clinicians.

  • Prepare treatment equipment and rooms for patient-focused care
  • Provide administrative support by carrying out front-office tasks like registration and managing Electronic Health Records
  • Interact with patients and families to educate them about treatments and follow-up.
  • Collaborate with Physical Therapists to develop and implement patient treatment plans.
  • Monitor and document patient progress and report findings to supervisors and PTs on duty.
  • Administer common PT modalities for treatment, including ultrasound, heat therapy, and cold therapy, as directed by supervisors.
  • Stay updated on the latest physical therapy techniques and treatment modalities through networking and continuing education.

Where Do Physical Therapy Aides Work?

  1. Hospitals
  2. Private Practices
  3. Public Health Clinics
  4. Rehabilitation Facilities
  5. Nursing Homes
  6. Private Health Care

Best Online Physical Therapy Aide Programs (Complete Guide)

The best online physical therapy aide programs feature blended learning, web-based education, and immersive clinical experiences.

Students who complete one of the online or hybrid PTA programs below are on track for certification and licensing in their respective state of residence.

Aspiring Physical Therapy Aides should note that the following requirements will vary by educational institution.

  • Tuition and Program Admission Fees
  • Admission Requirements
  • Program Fees
  • Equipment Fees
  • PTA Curriculum
  • Web-Based Learning Environment
  • Program Completion Timetables

Med Certs OnlineMed Certs Online

About the Program

Med Certs is a leading online medical education provider that allows students to earn a Physical Therapy Technician Certificate online.

Their 18-week web-based program teaches students the fundamentals of assisting PTs and prepares them for passing the Physical Therapy Technician and the Certified Medical Administration Assistant exams.

Students who take MedCerts courses online are assigned to student success advisors who guide them through online PTA certification every step of the way.

Courses Offered

  • Heat and Cold Modalities
  • Insurance Verification
  • HIPPA, OSHA, and CMS Compliance
  • PTT Certification Exam Prep
  • CMAA Certification Exam Prep
  • Passive Assistive and Active Range of Motion

Contact Information

  • Address: 5401 West Kennedy Boulevard, Tampa, Florida – 33609
  • Website: Link
  • Phone: 800-734-1175

Program Costs: $4000.00

*This program has all-inclusive pricing for tuition, ebooks, certification exam practice, student services support, and enrollment assistance.

Penn Foster

About the Program

Penn Foster is one of America’s leading web-based education providers who partners with career-oriented students to help them earn a Physical Therapy Aide Certificate online.

They offer a fast-track program featuring intensive coursework for students who want to start working to assist PTs and qualified medical staff as quickly as possible.

Their online program prepares prospective graduates for working in clinical settings as support staff for licensed Physical Therapists in their state of residence.

Penn Foster says that most of their students complete the online PTA diploma program within three months.

Courses Offered

  • Customer Service
  • Medical Terminology
  • Cold and Heat Treatments
  • Anatomy and Body Systems Terminology
  • Physical Therapy Treatments
  • Common Physical Disorders
  • Exercise and Mobility Training
  • Workplace Health and Safety

Contact Information

  • Address: 925 Oak Street, Scranton, Pennsylvania – 18515
  • Website: Link
  • Phone: 800-275-4410

Program Costs: $799.00 – 989.00

*This program offers payment plans and discounts for payment in full.

Washington Adventist University Washington Adventist University 

About the Program

WAU’s Professional Workforce Development Department allows prospective PTAs to learn about the field and prepare for certification in person and online.

Their 18-week self-paced program teaches web-based students the fundamentals of patient care and physical therapy techniques that prepare them for entry-level PTA careers.

Their certification-based training courses provide the required knowledge for graduates to understand the basics of human anatomy, physiology, and medical terminology.

This web-based course will also teach students how to handle administrative functions for practicing Physical Therapists, including how to create and manage Electronic Health Records.

Courses Offered

  • HIPPA, HITECH, OSHA, CMS Compliance
  • CMAA Certification Prep
  • AMCA Certification Prep

Contact Information

  • Address: 7600 Flower Avenue, Takoma Park, Maryland – 20912
  • Website: Link
  • Phone: 877-413-0072

Program Costs: $4000.00

This program offers short-term loans, long-term loans, and employer assistance options to offset the cost of tuition.

St. Augustine’s University St. Augustine's University 

About the Program

SAU presents its Certified Physical Therapy Aide Course online for prospective PT assistants and students who take courses with SAU to learn front and back-office physical therapy techniques.

Their online program requires students to take national certification exams for PTAs.

Motivated online students have the opportunity to participate in an externship to get on-the-job training and launch their Physical Therapy Assistant Careers.

St. Augustine’s comprehensive online training prepares graduates to use the principles learned to support practicing Physical Therapists in hospitals, private practice, medical clinics, and other healthcare facilities.

This program has no prerequisites and teaches the following web-based courses.

Courses Offered

  • Wheelchair Basics
  • Principles of Pathology and Treatment
  • The Physical Therapy Profession
  • Infection Control
  • Organization of the Human Body
  • Ambulation Aids
  • Muscular, Skeletal, and Nervous Systems
  • Treatment of the Cardiovascular, Respiratory, and Nervous Systems

Contact Information

  • Address: 1315 Oakwood Avenue, Raleigh, North Carolina – 27610
  • Website: Link
  • Phone: 919-516-4000

Program Costs: Please get in touch with the program director for current pricing.

Ashworth College Ashworth College

About the Program

Ashworth College delivers an online Physical Therapy Aide training program that introduces them to allied health and prepares them to support Physical Therapists in providing patient care and treatment.

Their web-based programs give students the fundamental physical therapy skills to work in support of therapists in a variety of clinical settings.

Students learn about allied health and physical therapy, primary modalities for treatment, and how to comply with mandatory healthcare regulations.

Students who successfully complete the course are awarded a diploma.

Courses Offered

  • Introduction to Physical Therapy
  • Introduction to Allied Health
  • Physical Therapy Practice Areas and Strategies for Success
  • Ethical and Legal Issues of Healthcare Professionals
  • Communication and Recordkeeping Skills for PTs
  • Physical Therapy Practice Areas

Contact Information

  • Address: 5051 Peachtree Corners Circle, Suite 200, Norcross, Georgia – 30092
  • Website: Link
  • Phone: 1-800-957-5412

Program Costs: $799.00-$989.00

*This program provides a discount for students who pay in full and offers monthly payment options and a low-cost deposit to get started.

Lower Columbia CollegeLower Columbia College

About the Program

LCC College in Longview, Washington, delivers its online PTA certification program via its Corporate and Continuing Education Department.

Their certification-prep-based course educates learners on the fundamentals of human anatomy, physiology, and supervised patient care.

They offer their PTA courses in a completely web-based format where students learn about the qualifications and required duties of Certified Physical Therapy Aides.

It teaches them how to identify proper positioning for patients and to apply the latest treatment modalities and physical therapy exercises using state-of-the-art equipment under the supervision of licensed physical therapists.

Courses Offered

  • Introduction to Physical Therapy Profession
  • Normal and Abnormal Gait
  • Transferring Patients Safely
  • Medical Terminology
  • Principles of Pathology and Treatment
  • Body Mechanics
  • Organization of the Human Body
  • Infection Control

Contact Information

  • Address: 1600 Maple Street, Longview, Washington – 98632
  • Website: Link
  • Phone: 360-442-2311

Program Costs: $2,145.00

*This program offers low monthly payment plans and includes a voucher for qualified students to be used with Ed2go.

Stratford Career InstituteStratford Career Institute

About the Program

SCI offers a self-paced online Physical Therapy Aide Program that teaches aspiring aides how to get started in the field.

Students who enroll in SCI’s web-based PT program will learn medical terminology, where to find employment in the field, and the latest physical therapy modalities licensed PTs and their PTAs use to provide pain relief and help restore their patients to wellness.

Courses Offered

  • Medical Terminology
  • Ambulation and Gait Training
  • Patient Transfer Procedures
  • Physical Therapy Techniques
  • Organization of the Body
  • Medical Ethics and Medical Laws
  • Scientific Principles, Medical Disorders, and Safety Issues
  • Patient Preparation and Physical Therapy Modalities

Contact Information

  • Address: 1 Champlain Commons, Unit 3, Saint Albans, Vermont – 05478
  • Website: Link
  • Phone: 1-800-254-4070

Program Costs: $749.00 – $1,049.00

*This program offers low monthly payment plans and currently gives new students a $300.00 tuition discount.

Online Physical Therapy Aide Program Courses

  1. Patient Care Management
  2. Medical Terminology
  3. Kinesiology and Biomechanics
  4. Principles of Pathology
  5. Infection Control
  6. Body Mechanics
  7. Patient Transport Procedures
  8. Fundamentals of Physical Therapy
  9. Medical Ethics and HIPPA
  10. Medical Office Procedures and Administration

Can You Earn Physical Therapy Aide Certification Completely Online?

Yes! Aspiring Physical Therapy Aides work alongside trained and licensed Physical Therapists in a variety of clinical environments.

Students can take most of the coursework required to prepare them for national certification with agencies like the CMAA and the AMCA and to continue their educational journey towards state licensure and earning a Doctor of Physical Therapy credential online.

The programs listed above offer hybrid learning options that provide students with the web-based component of their programs.

They also help them connect with local clinical institutions through internships and externships that allow students to earn in-person hours of clinical practice with live patients.

How Long Does it Take to Earn Physical Therapy Aide Certification Online?

The time it takes to complete your Physical Therapy Aide certification online depends on a variety of factors.

While some of the web-based PTA programs above offer accelerated options for students to complete their programs on the fast track – most online PTA programs take students between four and six months to complete.

How Much Does Online Physical Therapy Aide Certification Cost?

Online reports and research show that the average cost of getting your PTA credential online is around $4000.00, depending on your chosen program.

This number only represents the average costs.

There are lower-cost programs and higher-cost programs that can cost more than the average.

Students who take online Physical Therapy Aide training classes from prestigious and reputable schools are likely to have higher tuition and fees than those who take courses from lesser-known programs.

Tuition-Based Support for Physical Therapy Aide Students

The good news is that most online PTA programs do offer tuition-based support for qualified students that can include reduced tuition and fees costs, scholarship options, and monthly or quarterly payment plans to help offset some of the costs of their cyber education.

Aspiring Physical Therapy Aides should know that the total costs of completing a PTA course online can include any or all of the following expenses depending on their preferred institution and program of study.

  • Tuition
  • Application Fees
  • Program Fees
  • Books
  • Technology Fees

Final Thoughts

America’s Bureau of Labor reports that the need for trained physical therapists is expected to grow faster than the need for trained professionals entering other fields.

Now that you know how easy it is to start your Physical Therapy Aide career online are you ready to take the next steps and research one of America’s best programs?

If you’re serious about jump-starting your PT career — start by learning more about what it takes to be a PTA in today’s technology-based healthcare environments.

Then, get on the fast track to begin a rewarding career supporting licensed Physical Therapists in America’s healthcare system today!

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